The Mystic tied for 2nd place with a BTW of 8.5 oz and a chart topping swing weight of 92. Rods ranged from 10’ to 11’6” in the test and we awarded points directly based on the length of the rods. Sign up for our Newsletter, a monthly dose of new ideas and exclusive deals on great gear, sent directly to your inbox. Design, Fit and Finish: What’s keeping the Tactical off the podium? In steps the Sage ESN reel. I can say that it was interesting, but I’m still not quite sure what it all means (if anything). Special mention for the Airflo and the Nymphmaniac whose prices are much lower than the other references and which nevertheless rise at the first places of the podium in the "rod with up-locking reel seat" category. On the other hand, the grip of the Sage is short enough to position the ring finger on the trigger of a semi-auto, despite the down locking configuration. Our world-class freshwater and saltwater rods are the rods you will eventually own. Then she was gone, on a plane back home, and I find myself missing her terribly. This rod is 4 pieces, sold in a cordura tube with 4 compartments. Then we got to the fun part – fishing! $425.00 Hardy Ultradisc. Free shipping. The top rods had softer tips and made casting very little weight much easier. Design, Fit and Finish: Pretty much identical to the Cortland (and several other rods in the test), the DXF is pretty standard. Then Tippet ring to sighter and then tied to 3-5' of tippet. Other models reviewed are really close in terms of comfort with marks being between 6.5 and 7.1/10. The stiffness of the tip also gives you great hook setting power. The Baetis Precision 2.0, whose reel seat is also in a down-locking configuration, completes the podium. Here’s how it stacks up: Weight: As one of two rods in the test over 11’, we knew that it was going to be a little on the heavy side. You really couldn’t feel anything along the way and the only way you’d feel a strike is when the fish was hooked or if your sighter moved. OK, at least in this test. As the second longest rod in review, is still felt lively and light in your hand. $325.95 Thomas and Thomas Avantt. Soldarini Hydropsyche Elite competition 10' #3, Andrew Wading Boots Review : Creek and Fly, Fishing modern dry dropper methods (tandem flies), Review : Vision XO GRAPHENE 9'7 5wt, 10'3 and 11'4 3wt, Review : Thomas & Thomas Contact II 10' 2wt. A new resin named Powerflux 1000 brings to the blank mechanical properties while fishing. The rod cost them 1100.00 . Dark blue wraps with 12 guides including 11 recoil single leg. It kept not only this rod, but the Tactical Pro off of the podium. The starting SIC guide is followed by 10 single leg. Sage Salt HD 1386-4 Post: This is a rod that I will probably never fish, and maybe never have an occasion to fish, but it sure is cool. This 4-piece rod is delivered in a compartmentalised tube and has a lifetime warranty (something rather rare in this price range). Rods with ERN in the middle of the #3 power have a frequency near : 76cpm for the Airflo Euro Nymph, 77 cpm for the Baetis Precision 2.0, the Echo Shadow X and the Hanak Superb XP, 78 cpm for the Thomas & Thomas Contact and the Maxia SX4. Casting and Sensitivity: If you want to learn to nymph like the Europeans, the Orvis is the easiest casting rod in the world. The decision will depend on your budget, the look and the type of action you are looking for. I still love those rods. If you need the length, this is one to consider. I learned to tight line on a fenwick 3100 aetos and the 3110 world class sounds just about like the aetos- good swing weight with a fighting butt, soft enough to cast fine- no sensitivity. The grey aluminium reel seat has a bottle green insert, the shape of the handle stays the same as the MX. We think BTW is a worthwhile measurement for all rods, but especially for Euro nymphing rods. I agree there are a lot of new tight line rods out there for less than 300.00 like the shadow II, syndicate, epiphany (by moonshine) that were not reviewed this year but should be next year and will be different. The cork handle is still cigar shaped. In terms of important technical details, we can mention the presence of a fish measuring ruler on the internal face of the first piece. In steps the Sage ESN reel. While the Worldclass is certainly light and long, it managed to be not great at either casting or sensitivity. Sage ESN. This is the case of the Vision Nymphmaniac 10’ #3 which is a real #2, the Soldarini Hydropsyche Elite Competition, the Greys GR80, the Sage ESN HD and the Syndicate Pipeline Pro which are all #2/3. Design, Fit and Finish: Pretty much identical to the Cortland and the DXF (starting to see a trend?? Tight Lines! Weight: The Sky weighs in at 3.65 oz with a BTW of 12.1 oz and a swing weight of 125. Honestly, I’ve always thought that deflection boards are really cool. It only takes a bit of adjustment to get accustomed, but once you've sorted that bit out, you'll be glad to own it. Hey George. The only 10.5’ rod to beat it was the Sage. Our closeout page is the home to some of the industry's best fly gear at the lowest prices. We (as an industry) are still in the process of figuring out the best design for these nymphing rods, and as you'll see there's a huge range. If your rod does break, just send it back to me (along with $75.00 to cover the Sage warranty fee and I will take care of the rest). Weight: Super heavy. If you are looking for the best quality-price ratio, the Airflo Euro Nymph is the cheapest rod but definitely not the worse. As with all Sage’s rods in this price range, the finishes are top-notch. $19.15 Sage ESN Reel. For the models with #2/3 power, two frequencies are measured. Those who are looking for a more versatile 10'#3 rod, with a non-specific Euro nymphing manufacturing, would have to choose between the Baetis Precision 2.0, the Hanak Superb XP or the Thomas & Thomas Contact. Build your own fly rod with Sage Premium fly rod blanks. The TP tied Sage for the top spot in these categories. This is particularly important for longer (10.5’ and 11’) rods. Packed with a suite of specialty features, this reel is designed specifically with the Euro-Nymph angler in mind and is fine tuned to the nuances of the application. The aluminium reel seat is darker and keeps a graphite insert and becomes down locking. You tested on some great water. Early iterations of 11’ 3wt’s require as much as 8 oz to properly balance. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Without further ado: Balanced Total Weight (20 Points) – Balanced total weight (BTW) is a measure we introduced this year in our review of the Sage Salt HD. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the harder rods to cast. The Hollow Fleye Squid is a phenomenal pattern for Stripers keyed in on schooling Squid at night and during the day. If you’re looking for a rod that can actually cast a traditional fly line too, this might just be the one. We were excited to see how it performed. Sure, it was missing some of the features that would have put this rod over the edge like a fighting butt and a downlocking reel seat. Design, Fit and Finish: Great build quality, but we would have liked to see a downlocking reel seat and a fighting butt. Every rod I’ve cast with their “StratoTherm” resin has been really great, so I was super excited to try out the new Contact. So, I contactedContinue Reading It’s horribly heavy for a 10’ rod. This is simple: We fish SAGE and can advise you on any of the full range of single hand, switch, two hand, and specialty fly rods by SAGE. I would have liked to see other company’s rods in here, but I imagine it’s difficult to acquire even as many as you did, and I appreciate it. The best deals, discounts, and sales on all your fly fishing rods from Orvis, Scott, Winston, Thomas and Thomas and more Rods Thomas & Thomas Winston Scott Orvis Syndicate Cortland Sage Redington Temple Fork Outfitters Echo Discount Bin I think ya'll really struck out on this "shootout" ! The dull black anodised aluminium down lock reel seat tops a premium Half Wells cork handle (flor grade) typical of the brand. With its dull blank, black wraps and carbon reel seat, this JMC rod is definitely sober. I know that I don’t want to be carrying or fishing with that much extra weight. She was a 9ft 5wt, and I only had a few weeks to get to know her. But with the old models of 10ft you can cast dries in large streams, so I prefer 9ft and 9.6ft for dries. Let’s walk through some of the features that make this rod the winner: The ESN HD just does everything really well. Rather than do a deep dive into exactly how this rod fails, I’m just going to say that there are better options. Get the latest regional sports teams, scores, stats, news, standings, rumors, and more from FOX Sports North. The most reactive rod is the JMC Pure Equipe with 80 cpm, its ERN is 3.72 which makes it a #3/4 and explains its good ranking. If I’m being honest, she wasn’t much to look at, but we just jived. As such, it wasn’t a particularly good caster, nor was it very sensitive. Any advise on reel choice? The new Sage ESN 10’ 6” 3 wt is way ahead of these other rods. The Yellowstone Angler in Livingston, MT carries some of the finest fly rods made by Thomas and Thomas. Like all the rods from the series, this model is equipped with a fighting butt made of cork that is removable. The Marryat Tactical Pro 10.5 is truly everything that a great Euro-nymph rod should be. It is followed by the Echo Shadow X (7.8/10). A lot has changed in rod design in 10 years. Should try Euro nymphing leader set up with Maxima chameleon #15-20 then 12 or15 # green amnesia tied to then sighter. Thomas & Thomas Orgins. Packed with a suite of specialty features, this reel is designed specifically with the Euro-Nymph angler in mind and is fine tuned to the nuances of the application. They decided to introduce sobriety and clean aspect : blank with scrolled pattern, not varnished and wraps become black. Tight line methods made their way to the US via international fly fishing competitions in the 80’s and 90’s, but it’s taken a really long time for them to become popular amongst mainstream anglers. The Cortland Competition Nymph rod embodies a rod that feels like it wasn’t really designed for tight line nymphing, but is closer to a standard 3-weight taper with added length. $825.00. Regarding the power, the rod reviewed in this test can be classified in two different categories: The action is characterised by the Action Angle (AA) and two categories are found in the bunch of rods tested. Heavy and a weak performer across the board. I can see some time spent here. It’s light, it casts well and is reasonably sensitive. Spend your money elsewhere. The DXF clocks in at 3.2oz for the 11’3wt model. In terms of length, the Thomas & Thomas and the Sage ESN are the shortest (6.5"). You can really feel every bump in the stream. Finally, we awarded one point to Sage for having the best grip of the bunch and one point to Winston for just being so superior in terms of the quality of the finish on the rod. 2020 marks the return of Greys to the United States. Last but not least, the handle ends with a fighting butt which will bring you comfort and balance while hooked on serious fish. This Contact series is built with a dark gray blank, the trims and wraps are brown olive, very pragmatic and change from the usual black. The best score for length goes to the Echo Shadow X with 189 mm. I then started seeing more mentions about it on social media. 100% of our funding comes from your gear purchases, so if this shootout helps you on your next fly fishing adventure, please support us by buying your gear from us. Everyone raved about how accurate the T&T Contact is. For those of us who have been at this long enough, you'll remember when Greys left us some 6 (or so) years ago to become a European only brand. These two blanks have an almost identical behaviour in fishing action, only the manufacturing changes: the Maxia is more typical nymphing, while the Contact is more typical dry fly fishing. If there’s one test where it was really going to be able to show us something, it’s this one. Unlike the old rod, which was just a long rod, the new ESN is definitely designed specifically for tight line nymphing. The Sage ESN (European Style Nymphing) is built around the company’s latest Konnetic HD technology. The ESN HD is a complete redesign of the old ESN. It’s really as good as we’ve seen. Like the other Marryat rods, the grip was awkward and way too large in diameter. Awesome review and test guys! A little over a year and a half ago, when Thomas & Thomas announced the sale of all company assets and its manufacturing facility, the response from long time Thomas & Thomas rod owners was a bit unexpected. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. No bobbers here. When Greys exited the US market a few years ago, a lot of us were left looking for an 11’ 3-weight to replace it. CTS Affinity X 2wt for Euro Nymphing. Bottom Line: I don’t want to pass judgement on this rod yet, since it’s not a 3-weight. And now, they're back. We picked a stretch of productive water on the (relatively) famous Magalloway River in Northwest Maine, and fished each and every rod down the same stretch. Unlike the Shadow II series, the new Shadow X are sober with a dark set: a slate grey blank and black wraps, as the down-locking reel seat and the carbon insert. Contact II Euro Nymph Rods by Thomas & Thomas. While we would have preferred a fighting butt, the real flaw in this rod is its grip (see review of the Tactical). The blank is your canvas. Must have been difficult w/all the designers standing around looking over your shoulder. These trims are near the fittings and the first guide. The only 11’ rod that’s consistently worse is Redington. In all of the reviews I read, one particular detail really piqued my interest: accuracy. You can simply cover more water with a longer rod. For others it's a deeply rewarding project. Reach (10 Points) – Longer rods provide more reach. Please leave a comment with any thoughts/questions/comments. I regulary fish a 11' Sage ESN #3 for larger waters and a 10' Syndicate #2 for small rivers. The guides are single leg and the penultimate has a shape designed to limit twists in the line when euro nymphing. The other two trout spey rods that seemed to handle the wind well were the 11’11” G. Loomis IMX Pro and the 11’9” Thomas and Thomas DNA. This rod, however, is better suited to indicator nymphing that tight line nymphing. In steps the Sage ESN reel. Perfect for summer conditions. I've fished it with euro nymph rigs as well as a dry-dropper setup and it performed extremely well in both scenarios. JW why the ECHO lineup didn't make it into this " Shootout" i feel like you missed a top of the line competitor......... And the syndicate pipeline ? Casting and Sensitivity: The CN is a decent rod to cast, but lacked feel. And it is… but not by much. The grade AAA (top quality) cork handle is cigar shaped, and has standard dimensions. The choice will be made above all according to fairly subjective criteria (look) and your budget. It scored the maximum number of combined points we awarded to any rod (16) in these categories. For this category we fished all of the rods along the same stretch of river and compared. MAXIA RODS contact : Andres Torres Garcia (facebook here). Thank you for creating this. Price (10 Points) – Last but not least, is price. Which is why we're doing this test. Its light weight makes this rod super fun to fish and a welcome reprieve from the heavier rods that we’re used to. Sure it’s long, but this rod is REALLY heavy. With a host of awards in other line weights, we had some really high expectations for the Sky. It’s got lightweight guides and a downlocking reel seat. I was pleasantly surprised when Marryat enthusiastically said yes! Hope this helps some! BUT, the difference in BTW is 6.3 ounces – almost half a pound! Sensitivity (10 Points) – Sensitivity took the place of “Feel” in our test. Weight: In terms of overall weight, the Winston is actually the heaviest rod in the test, but a lot of that weight goes into the great details like the classic Winston reel seat, so it doesn’t *feel* as heavy as some of the other rods. Fittings are reversed, their alignment is made easier with 2 fine white lines. Czech nymphing, tight-line nymphing, French nymphing… What does it mean? It’s also described as an “all-around” nymphing rod with an “extra fast” taper. Very helpful!!! I caught fish big and small and must say that from a novice's perspective, this rod is extremely sensitive and can easily detect strikes, even from small trout. It also has standard chrome guides and good, but not spectacular finishing. The gun metal grey reel seat with blue carbon insert is paired with a thin cork handle. level 2. The rods with an announced power similar to the measured power. Their 10’ 2wt is incredible and the price is right for a specialty stick. My first dedicated Euro rod was the first generation Greys Streamflex 10’ 3wt. Like all rods in the Equipe series, a tricolour (blue, white, red) wrap appears at the base of the first guide. This 4-piece rod is delivered in a cover and a rigid tube. It makes sense, then, to compare the Orvis Helios 3F to my Sage ESN. A well designed rod with a great fit and finish. The Thomas & Thomas Zone came into my life like a short, pleasant fling that left me wanting more. Packed with a suite of specialty features, this reel is designed specifically with the Euro-Nymph angler in mind and is fine tuned to the nuances of the application. Casting and Sensitivity: Also excellent. Weight: The Tactical weighs in at 3.2 oz with a BTW of 9.3 oz and a swing weight of 91. That gave us the ability to really see the differences in sensitivity between each rod. Thomas and Thomas is probably one of the hottest rod companies right now. I will say that it was somewhat soft when casting dries, but that's mostly because I went to it from a 9' 5wt which is a completely different animal. This next year the brand introduce some new rods for dries. Unfortunately, where the other Marryat rods were fantastic, the 11.5’ Tactical Pro was a bit of a dud. ... Echo, Redington, and the first generation Sage ESN. $825.00 Cortland "Top Secret" Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon. The reel seat mixes black anodized aluminum and cork insert. Report Save. The Tactical, which shares its grip with the other Marryat rods, has a very large-diameter grip that just makes it really awkward. They are particularly multipurpose and very popular amongst anglers who like fishing in small to medium sized streams. ), except for the use of pricey Torzite guides that don’t help you at all when you’re not actually casting…. Thomas and Thomas Contact. They are best suited with their real power #2/3. The second important difference is that you’re not really casting a fly line – just a leader. In fact we found that there was a massive difference between rods in terms of their overall casting ease. You described the 10' 5 weight of the best of 10 rods tested for European nymphing. Regarding the look, the Pipeline series is characterised by a dull olive blank, equipped with two starting SIC guides followed by 10 tiCH single leg, a 4A cork handle and an aluminium reel seat with wood insert. Nevertheless, we took a leap of faith and did it for this shootout. It’s got the lightest swing weight of any 11’ rod in the test! That means that you really need a light line rod to give you any shot of casting a fly accurately. A review of the CTS Affinity X 2wt 11' as a euro nymphing rod. No surprise at this level, the logic is respected : In terms of manufacturing, if we measure the distance between the first guide and the handle, the rods that allow optimal use in nymphing (first guide located less than 15.5" from the handle) are only 4 : the Airflo Euro Nymph, the Echo Shadow X, the JMC Pure Equipe and the Maxia SX. This 4-piece rod will be delivered to you in a cover and a transport tube. Design, Fit and Finish: The Tactical Pro gets a lot of things right. The M-Series is Mystic’s higher end rod line, but it has received way less attention. They’ve really done a lot right. Keys of green, signatures of the Nymphmaniac series, singularize the product, especially at the level of inscriptions on the first piece and wraps of the joints. Bottom Line: An excellent rod for the price! Bottom Line: The best, and most well-rounded, rod in the test. The top rods felt like we were mapping the bottom of the river. Thomas and Thomas fly rods. Just curious why the echo shadow 2 did not find its way into your lineup? For the other rods in the test, which all have up locking reel seats, here is the ranking: The most comfortable classic reel seat rods in this test are the Airflo Euro-Nymph, the Vision Nymphmaniac and the Soldarini Hydropsyche Elite Competition (all 3 at 7.3 / 10). Unfortunately, it was also the least sensitive rod in the test. I fished it for a few days, and it felt like a game-changer. You can feel every bump and every rock along the way. We as Americans are behind in the tight line game and so are our rod developers with the exception of possibly Sage with the ESN HD. The best score for length goes to the Echo Shadow X with 189 mm. They will allow you to cast lighter nymphs than the rod in the next category. Think about this: the difference between the total weight of the 14 rods we tested is only about an ounce, which, isn’t much. Free shipping on many items ... Thomas and Thomas Contact II Technical Nymphing Fly Rods -- Free Fly Line. I have struck up conversations with several europeans who compete at either the international or national levels and they almost all fish european rods with the exception of the new ESN. The first SIC guide is followed by hard chrome single leg guides. Really nice to see someone take on the review of Nymphing Rods, since it has become such a major technique in trout fishing. Other European rods be nice, but my concern would be warranty issues if not serviced in US. Unfortunately, no fly shops near me stock it. I'd love to see one of my rods on here next year. Except the grip. Unfortunately, the Sky fell in this shootout. We prefer a little bit of both. Looking forward to your review of the other Contact Rods, especially the 10'8" 3wt. It makes it the rod that will be able to fish the lighest as possible. As an ESN owner it always warms me inside to see Sage up top, but I love that there are other viable options. We started with a base of 5 points, which was given to all of the rods, because, let’s face it, even overseas-made rods are well made these days. Winston is one of our favorite brands and I was super (pun intended) stoked to finally try out the Super 10. For example, the epiphany should have a downlocker by next year and will balance very differently. I read your nymphing rod shootout and was interested in several rods you rated at the top. It’s just not a well-designed rod for Euro nymphing. Hey Mark, really useful comments. Obviously, on a technical level, the Thomas & Thomas is the most accomplished in this category : it is very comfortable given its classic reel seat, it is the most responsive of the #3, and it has the delicious moderate fast action without any hard point on the blank, trademark of the Contact series. This all sounds overly harsh, but the reality is that the price-to-performance ratio on this rod is spectacular and it’s really hard to fault anything that Cortland has done here at a $250 price point. Weight: The Worldclass weighs in at 3.32 oz with a BTW of 11.7 oz and a swing weight of 100. The Recon doesn’t disappoint. While this wasn’t our favorite rod, I’m really looking forward to testing the 10’8” 3wt and the 10’2” 2wt (with a downlocking reel seat of course), as those rods are probably what we should have tested in the first place. Thanks! So I purchased one and must say it is one great rod. Overall it finished just behind the top rods in these two key categories. Advantage to the Maxia when considering fishing comfort. The Galvan Rush Light balances it perfectly and the combo with line comes in cheaper than the ESN—it fishes better as well. Would be much better with a downlocking reel seat. For those who would like an even less powerful model, the Vision Nymphmaniac has a real power tested at #2. 2018 European-Style Nymphing Fly Rod Shootout and Fly Rod Review. I don’t know about you, but none of that makes me think of an excellent Euro-nymphing rod. There’s nothing wrong with this rod, but it really doesn’t stand out in any way either. On the cigar cork handle, a green thin ring marks the first 7.9" from the butt and graduation goes on from 3.9" to 3.9" with green wraps up to 19.7". Stren the old way. While not a light rod, it’s actually one of the lighter 11-footers in our test. Casting and Sensitivity: Loomis delivered on sensitivity in spades and was one of only 2 rods to really deliver here. I've had very good results with it and can without a doubt recommend it. But, if you’re interested in this shootout, you probably already know all that. For its Precision 2.0 series, the brand Baetis broke its usual gaudy look of the first generation. With these 4, there is no risk of forming a belly in the line when fishing with the rod in a high position. That’s a lot of reel for a trout rod! In terms of length, the Thomas & Thomas and the Sage ESN are the shortest (6.5"). Weight: The DXF weighs in at 3.25 oz with a BTW of 11.7 oz and a swing weight of 118. Photos will help each and every one of you to make your opinion. This is the case of the Echo Shadow X, whose very long handle (7.4") associated with the down-locking reel seat makes it impossible to attach a Vivarelli reel. This model has a relatively large number of guides according to its size (13 guides with olive wraps), the penultimate of which is snake guide, so as to limit the tangle of leader around the tip when euro-nymphing (with a long tippet leader). Douglas came onto the market with their DXF at exactly the right time to capitalize on this (and they had some of the same team that was at Hardy). Most love the way it cast and the fact that the 3100 balances with a Click. This area is evolving so fast that you are going to see a lot of changes over the next year. The balance of this model is impressive and due to the large gap between the reel and the hand that holds the grip (down locking reel seat + very long grip). They include a high-quality cork handle (extra flor), an aluminium built and anodised reel seat with a burled black ash spacer and a titanium-frame ceramic stripping guide followed by 11 single foot RECoil guides. Bottom Line: For an extra $100, it’s a worthwhile upgrade over the Cortland Competition Nymph, but *quite* enough of an upgrade to earn our best buy. Be sure to include the best European Nymph rods in the market next time, Stickman NO/ for example. Question about the casting score..... Is it safe to assume that the better the casting score for the euro setup, the better the rod would be at casting dry flies in a pinch? Fast action, with the majority of the values being between 68 and 70°. Typically, when brands with long histories and a loyal customer base change hands, the reaction is considerably negative.

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